Photo Credit: NSPCA

Three lions kept illegally on a property in Randfontein were rescued and moved to an ethical big cat sanctuary all thanks to the NSPCA and Randwest SPCA.


South Africa (17 April 2023) – In Early March, the NSPCA took part in the confiscation of several lions that were being kept illegally. Working with the Randwest SPCA, they joined the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) to remove the lions from a property in Randfontein. The lions were then transported to a sanctuary, where they will be treated as wild animals.

GDARD called apon the expertise of the NSPCA in the case to aid in the collection of evidence to go towards a case against the people who were keeping the lions illegally.

“The NSPCA and the Randwest SPCA carried out an inspection at the property shortly thereafter, and a case was opened by GDARD for the illegal possession of the lions which is a contravention of the National Environmental Biodiversity Act and the relevant Threatened or Protected Species regulations. Upon being found guilty, the accused faces a penalty of imprisonment, a fine of up to R10 Million, or both.

The keeping of any wild animal in captivity results in the welfare of that animal being compromised. Wild animals removed from captivity should be afforded the opportunity to either be released safely back into the wild or, in cases where that is not possible, they should be placed into the care of an accredited sanctuary that does not exploit the animals by allowing public interaction. The NSPCA arranged for the three lions to be moved to the Isindile Big Cat and Predator Sanctuary, which is an NSPCA-accredited facility.

The Aspinall Foundation also provided vital assistance in terms of funding and veterinary services required for the transfer.”

The lions were darted, captured and taken to the Isindile Big Cat and Predator Sanctuary on the 22nd of March 2023. There were a total of three lions on the property.

“Dr. Peter Caldwell, a wildlife specialist veterinarian, performed a basic health check on each lion, and also microchipped, vaccinated, and dewormed them before their departure.

The NSPCA strongly opposes the keeping of wildlife in captivity and holds the firm view that wild animals belong in the wild. The NSPCA’s mission is to prevent animal cruelty in all its forms, and this includes advocating for wildlife and combating the cruelty they are so often subjected to.”

The lions are now undergoing rehabilitation and will live as wild a life as possible thanks to the team at the sanctuary.

The NSPCA is not a government-funded organisation and relies solely on the support of the public to continue their work.

If you would like to support the NSPCA, you can do so via the website here.

Source: NSPCA – Newsletter (30 March 2023) 
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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